Monday, March 5, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain

If you're a rabid sports fan, then you'll understand where I'm coming from in this post. There's a heaviness in my chest right now, has been all weekend, and I'm not sure when it will go away. On March 1st my hero, my very favorite baseball player of all time, retired from the game. I'm heartbroken.

Jason Varitek wasn't only my hero, he was the appointed captain of the Boston Red Sox and the hardest working catcher in all of Major League baseball. I've never idolized an athlete as I did him, and watching the Sox this year without him will leave a hollow feeling inside me. Knowing he'll never be behind the plate again makes me sad beyond words, but I hope he'll stay on in the Boston organization in some capacity, whether as a coach or some sort of management position. God knows he's got the talent and he's earned the right. He led by example both on and off the field, and in doing so he's won the devotion of both his teammates and the faithful members of the BoSox Nation.

"Tek"smiled and winked at me once when I watched him from outside the bullpen fence at Safeco field in Seattle, and a friend got him to autograph a ball for me. Those two things are treasured mementos, and they'll just have to sustain me through the baseball seasons to come.